Product Management
July 23, 2018

7 Things About Agile Development My Boss Wants To Know

Agile development is a global movement that has changed the world of work. This movement started with software development in 2001. And recently, this method has spread across all parts and all kinds of organisations, as acknowledged by Harvard Business review – “Embracing Agile”

The agile development was born as a response to a group of individuals getting tired of the traditional method of managing software development projects. These projects took a long time to deliver and was causing hurdles to reach the business’s goal. The experts were extremely frustrated by the fact that their efforts were taking too long to get delivered.

These frustrations can still be seen in companies that use waterfall-like method for delivering software but rarely ever felt by the top-level management. The C-level management wants the experts to get the project delivered effectively and at a lower cost. However, they are not willing to apply Agile methods for developing software. The faster the management teams realize the importance of Agile method for delivering software projects, the better.

Steven Smith says “I wish management understood that the quality value provided by agile technologies, and most especially from well-tested code, pays big dividends in terms of reduced QA expense and faster time to market for any significant-sized project.”

Let us look at the things which your boss might want to know before adopting the Agile development method for software projects.

1. Should We Provide Autonomy To The Experts?

The top management team will not be aware of all the activities involved in developing a software. It is the developers who know the best how long a project is taking to be executed. Let them decide what methods to use that will benefit the business. Make sure the teams know the value behind each method.

2. Is It A Process Of Continuous Delivery?

Agile development is not about delivering the finished project to the customer. It follows a continuous process of occurrence that gives an additional value to the business. This gives the project to enjoy the flexibility and respond to any changed business need or a simple bug fix.

3. Is It Business Friendly?

Agile development is aligned to continuously provide new value to the customers. The work is done with continuous interaction with the customer so that the organization can upgrade what it does for each individual customer. Feedbacks, reviews, demos, retrospectives are at the base of the Agile methods.

4. Do We Need To Sacrifice Our Methodologies?

There is room for more than one method while developing a project; no need to stick to one. While going agile, a business doesn’t need to sacrifice the methods which work perfectly with their business. Sometimes businesses rely on both- waterfall and agile method which makes it difficult for both to come into sync. But as long as you know the flexibility the Agile development can provide, you don’t need to worry about such alignments.

5. What Is The Agile Manifesto?

Focus on Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
● Working on software is more important than dealing with all the documentation.
● Customer collaboration is more vital over contract negotiation.
● The process should be able to respond to change rather than following a path.

These provide clear indications that agile is a lightweight and adaptable process for developing software.

6. What Are The Myths Of Agile Development?

Agile doesn’t progress: Agile scales like any other software development process, one just needs to understand how to do it. E.g., if you are good at delivering projects with a small agile team, you should go ahead and do that.

Agile involves ‘no planning’: Detailed planning is required while managing an agile team as well as a waterfall team. The only difference is that planning in Agile is a continuous process.

With agile there is no need for documentation: Agile development is not an anti-documentation process. It means that it prefers face-to-face communication rather than depending on the written word.

Agile is not disciplined: It might look chaotic from the outside but the Agile process is very organized and involves holding regular tests, getting feedback and changing or updating plans.

7. Are There Any Resources To Manage Agile Development?

As the method gained popularity, there were many resources and tools developed in order to help project managers to keep a regular check. Be it a large or small project, you will find a time and cost-saving tools to help you in planning, charting, road mapping or reporting a project.

 

Over the last decade, software teams like The Workshore have successfully implemented the agile development method in developing software. Agile has crossed the chasm, and “the majority of organizations are doing agile, and agile works better in practice,” says Scott Ambler, author of several books and practice leader for agile development in IBM’s Methods Group.